KUALA LUMPUR (March 22): Bursa Malaysia ended higher on Wednesday (March 22), in line with regional markets amid improving market sentiment globally, and ahead of the US Federal Reserve’s (Fed) decision on interest rates later in the day.
At 5pm, the benchmark FBM KLCI had risen 5.49 points, or 0.39%, to 1,412.04, from Tuesday’s close at 1,406.55.
The market bellwether opened 2.05 points higher at 1,408.60, and moved between 1,406.51 and 1,413.52 throughout the day.
Market breadth was positive, with gainers leading decliners 497 to 377, while 408 counters were unchanged, 991 untraded, and seven others suspended.
Turnover eased to 3.12 billion units worth RM1.89 billion, from Tuesday’s 3.23 billion units worth RM1.85 billion.
Rakuten Trade Sdn Bhd vice-president of equity research Thong Pak Leng expects the local bourse to remain cautious due to uncertainties globally, especially the outlook on monetary policy.
“However, we believe bargain-hunting activities may continue given the reasonable valuations of shares on Bursa due to the oversold position. Thus, we see the KLCI hovering within the 1,410-1,420 range for the remainder of the week,” he added.
Regionally, Singapore’s Straits Times Index garnered 1.53% to 3,222.50, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index chalked up 1.73% to 19,591.43, Japan’s Nikkei 225 surged 1.93% to 27,466.61, while China’s SSE Composite Index put on 0.31% to 3,265.75.
Back home, Bursa heavyweight Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank) surged 15 sen to RM8.55 a share, Public Bank Bhd at RM4 and CIMB Group Holdings Bhd at RM5.20 had added one sen each, Tenaga Nasional Bhd increased five sen to RM9.52, IHH Healthcare Bhd was flat at RM5.88, and Petronas Chemicals Group Bhd slipped three sen to RM6.79.
Among the actives, Green Packet Bhd at 4.5 sen and Hong Seng Consolidated Bhd at 13.5 sen were both flat, Top Glove Corp Bhd eased one sen to 95 sen, Computer Forms (Malaysia) Bhd dipped 18 sen to 43.5 sen, and MyEG Services Bhd went down 2.5 sen to 70.5 sen.
On the index board, the FBM Emas Index was 31.96 points higher at 10,322.74, the FBMT 100 Index increased 29.27 points to 10,016.60, and the FBM 70 Index was 1.32 points easier at 13,289.13.
The FBM Emas Shariah Index went up 8.09 points to 10,626.37, and the FBM ACE Index climbed 40.63 points to 5,301.68.
Sector-wise, the Financial Services Index soared 112.92 points to 15,647.0, the Energy Index rose 10.86 points to 806.09, the Plantation Index decreased by 3.14 points to 6,749.18, and the Industrial Products and Services Index shed 0.30 of a point to 166.71.
The Main Market volume eased to 2.04 billion shares worth RM1.59 billion, against 2.07 billion shares worth RM1.59 billion on Tuesday.
Warrant turnover appreciated to 422.09 million units worth RM64.29 million, from 358.33 million units worth RM61.74 million.
The ACE Market volume was lower at 648.05 million shares worth RM232.34 million, against 778.95 million shares worth RM201.03 million.
Consumer product and service counters accounted for 375.12 million shares traded on the Main Market, followed by industrial products and services (507.35 million), construction (36.86 million), technology (227.60 million), special purpose acquisition companies (nil), financial services (87.98 million), property (132.91 million), plantation (29.98 million), real estate investment trusts (6.67 million), closed/funds (47,000), energy (195.17 million), healthcare (255.25 million), telecommunications and media (131.30 million), transportation and logistics (21.38 million), and utilities (28.78 million).